Because of this, you must protect your best interests and rights, and the only way for you to do this is by having an experienced Charlotte drug possession lawyer by your side to help you overcome these drug charges.
North Carolina’s Criminal Drug Laws
You’ll find North Carolina’s criminal drug laws inside the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act. There are seven different schedules that this law categorizes various types of drugs into. Schedule VI drugs are the least severe, while Schedule 1 drugs are the most severe. Drugs in North Carolina are divided into the following schedules or categories:
- Schedule I drugs: This category of drugs has the greatest potential for abuse and addiction. They include opiates, heroin, methaqualone, ecstasy, and peyote.
- Schedule II drugs: This category of drugs comes with accepted medical uses, but still carries a high potential for dependency and abuse. They include morphine, hydrocodone, codeine, opium, cocaine, and Ritalin.
- Schedule III drugs: There is some potential for abuse and dependency with this category of drugs, but they also come with currently accepted medical purposes. These types of drugs include ketamine, certain barbiturates, and anabolic steroids.
- Schedule IV drugs: This category of drugs has a low potential for abuse or addiction. They have currently accepted medical uses as well. These include Valium, Xanax, Rohypnol, and Barbital. Certain OTC cough medications with codeine fall into the IV category.
- Schedule V drugs: This category of drugs also has a low potential for abuse and dependence.
- Schedule VI drugs: This category of drugs also has a low potential for abuse. They include hashish oil, hashish, and marijuana.
It’s essential to speak with a reputable North Carolina drug possession lawyer in Charlotte if you’ve received charges for drug possession and aren’t sure what category they fall under.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Drug Crimes
Drug offenses in North Carolina can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on various factors. Elevating factors include the amount and type of drug possessed, the delivery or issue of sale, and where it allegedly happened.
Some common misdemeanor drug offense examples are:
- Transporting a small amount of a substance
- Possession of paraphernalia, such as syringes or bongs
- Physical possession of any type of illegal controlled substance
If you were in possession of an amount of a substance that indicates an intention of selling, if you were on school property selling drugs, if you were driving while under the influence of a drug, or if you were transporting an illegal drug into North Carolina, charges could be elevated to a felony.
Penalties You Could Face if Convicted
Depending on the type and amount of substance you’re accused of possessing, you could face a whole range of penalties. If this is your first drug possession offense, you could be looking at penalties such as around one and eight months of jail time and fines. If you are in possession of a high quantity of drugs or if the drugs in your possession are extremely addictive, you could be facing multiple years in prison and much steeper fines.
However, the state needs to prove that you intended to possess the drugs to charge you with drug possession. For instance, the element of intent can’t be met if another person were to have put the drugs in your car or home without your knowledge.
Often, drug charges aren’t simply the result of law enforcement stopping people on the street. Instead, they can occur out of a routine traffic stop for other offenses. In these situations, it’s imperative that you know and understand your Fourth Amendment right, particularly if a law enforcement officer requests to search your vehicle without cause. If you were to agree to this and the officer uncovered suspicious substances, you could be facing a drug crime charge. On another note, if the officer searched your vehicle without a warrant or probable cause, this is unlawful in North Carolina and could mean they violated your rights.
A skilled Charlotte, NC drug possession attorney is well-informed about drug-related regulations and laws of today and will use proven legal strategies to do their best to have your charges dismissed or reduced.
Contact King Law to Speak With an Experienced Drug Possession Lawyer in Charlotte Today
The skilled drug possession attorneys at King Law are well-known for aggressively defending their client’s best interests. They’ll work hard to have any drug or paraphernalia possession charges dismissed if procedural mistakes or misconduct occur. Even if this doesn’t apply to you in your case, you can feel confident knowing the legal team at King Law will do their absolute best to defend your right to a fair trial and do their utmost to get you the best possible outcome.
Call us today at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING to schedule your initial consultation to sit down with a highly-skilled Charlotte drug possession lawyer and discuss your case. You can also fill out our contact form.